Shake-n-Make Collective

Shake-n-Make is a queer art collective (current members: Claudia B. Manley and Liss Platt) based in Hamilton, Ontario  whose work directly references the 1970s while elevating craft and subject matter beyond kitsch to speak to our current moment in history. 1970s crafts were all about making something homey and comforting out of cheap and readily available materials. In a sense,it was an attempt to escape the turmoil of the time (recession, oil crisis, terrorism) by crafting back to a nostalgic version of the 1950s (a seemingly more prosperous and peaceful time). Our current era bears more than a passing resemblance to the 70s. The recession, the oil crisis, and terrorism dominate our news. Environmentalism is again a driving concern. Crafting has become chic. Shake-n-Make endeavours to manifest these connections in its work.


The Hand of Craft (2017)

A site-specific installation created by Shake-n-Make for exhibition at the Cotton Factory (a refurbished cotton factory now housing artists’ studios and small businesses) in Hamilton, ON, which was presented from November 3 – December 2, 2017.   >>More 


Domestic Brew: 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall (2017)

A craft/sculpture/installation project that seeks to provide audiences with an opportunity to reconsider the social function of beer, approach beer as an art medium, and reference, re-work, and contrast home hobby crafts of the ‘70s with minimalist sculpture. >>More 


Domestic Brew: Craft Beer Garden (2017)

A 36-foot long photographic billboard offers a ‘garden’ of beer-cap flowers, transforming and monumentalizing the bottle caps while keeping them out of the landfill. The billboard was installed on the south wall of Hamilton Artists Inc. from May 2017 – May 2018. >>More 


 

From Our Kitchen to Yours (2015)

An artist book that combines family photos (from numerous families) with Shake-n-Make photo diptychs that contain flash fiction embedded into Betty Crocker recipe cards (circa 1973). >>More 


Master Chef Boyardee (2015)

This 30” x 40” macaroni portrait celebrates an icon of 70s convenience food, elevating him to the ranks of today’s celebrity chefs while offering a reflection on food cultures past and present. >> More


Photo Diptychs (2009-2013)

In this photo series, Betty Crocker recipe cards have flash fiction (short stories) embedded in the actual recipe. The stories explore family dynamics, interpersonal relationships, and unfulfilled desires; many of the stories take place in and around the home, or on the ‘domestic front’.   >>More 


The Table Has Been Set (2012)

This sculpture is made of over 800 ‘soylent’ wafers in reference to the classic post-apocalyptic film ‘Soylent Green’ – a future vision of our planet as over-populated, globally warmed (though not called that), environmentally devastated and unable to feed the masses. >>More 


Containing Failure (2011)

Quoting Samual Beckett, “try again, fail again, fail better,” Shake-n-Make’s first site-specific installation (reverse-applique banners on concrete planters) was presented in Hamilton SuperCrawl 2011 at the corner of James St. North and Barton. >>More 

 


Relic Sculptures (2009-2011)

Geri cans encrusted in thousands of plastic beads and toy cars  offers the hysterical end game of our petroleum excesses by both echoing the oil crisis of the 70s and resonating with our imminent peak oil moment. >>More 


VIP Gallery (2009)

Traditional portraiture, rendered in Shrinky Dinks, mounted on velvet, and placed in frames from Value Village. The oval form is reminiscent of cameos – the exalted meets the pathetic. >>More 


 

Serve and Protect (2009)

Utilizing photos from the Betty Crocker recipe card set, these hand-made cork-backed coasters offer another point of entry to the wood-paneled rec room of our collective past. >>More 


Family Time (2009)

A series of embroideries of domestic scenes representing quintessential 70s families underscores how television functioned ‘in loco parentis’ for our latch-key generation as well as how television was our window on the world. >>More 


Search and Destroy (2009)

These large felt banners, reminiscent of those hanging in churches in the 70s, exalt pop-culture icons such as the rock band Kiss and the girl-group detectives from Charlie’s Angels. These 40″ x 50″ banners are crafted using reverse applique with beading techniques. >>More 


 

Campsite Quickie (2009)

The 70s were also a period of ‘coming out’ for the LGBT movement, so we nod to this in a collection of stories inspired by the ‘queer’ recipes found in the 1973 Betty Crocker recipe card set. >>More 


Soft Sculptures (2009)

The humble appliance cozy takes on a life of its own as soft sculpture. Rendered in upholstery fabric and embracing a 70s color palette, these cozies offer only emptiness inside. >>More


TM (Transcendental Meditation) (2009)

A four-foot square white on white string art wall sculpture, TM invokes the meditative nature of repetitive crafts and their transformative power in the face of cultural upheaval. >>More